26 Mar Ballarat Repair Cafe looking for venue to host monthly ‘fix it’ sessions
Published in the Ballarat Courier on March 26, by Rochelle Kirkham
Ballarat residents are one step closer to having access to their own Repair Cafe after dozens of interested community members signed up as volunteers at a meeting last week.
It is a community effort to join a worldwide movement where residents meet to share skills and fix items that would otherwise go to landfill – a relatively simple idea that could have drastic environmental impact.
Those with skills to repair share their time and knowledge with those who come in to the cafe with broken items.
“It is about moving from a throwaway society to one that values what we work hard to buy.”La Vergne Lehmann, GCWWRRG
Ballarat Repair Cafe organiser Mary Duff said it was encouraging to receive the support of around 25 volunteers at a meeting last week.
The next step is to secure an appropriate venue to host the ‘cafe’ once a month and raise awareness in the community of its benefits
.”Things are so cheap to buy compared to repairing and it is easier to buy,” she said.
“Hopefully by planting that seed of an idea that if something can be repaired it is worth trying we can encourage people to think about their waste.”
Using resources for the longest time possible could cut some nations’ emissions by up to 70 per cent, increase their workforce by four per cent and greatly lessen waste, according to the Nature International Weekly Journal of Science.
The Victorian government is due to finalise a circular economy policy by 2020 – a series of actions to reduce how much waste goes to landfill.
Re-using, up-cycling and re-manufacturing an item reduces time and resources spent sending it to landfill or recycling systems.
The Ballarat Repair Cafe is supported by Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group’s Can Do Communities program.
Chief executive La Vergne Lehmann said it sent an important message in the lead up to a landfill ban on e-waste that is due to come into effect mid-year.
“It is about moving from a throwaway society to one that values what we work hard to buy,” she said.
It is expected the Ballarat Repair Cafe will run once a month and repairs will be completed free of charge or for a donation.
Participating volunteers have skills in clothes, footwear, soft toys, basic electronics and jewelry repair, book binding, carpentry and welding.
There are more than 1700 Repair Cafes around the world. Regional towns heave lead the way in their set up in Victoria.
Repair Cafes have been established in Castlemaine, Bendigo, Seymour, Daylesford, Geelong, Morwell, Mornington and Woodend.